Downsizing

Moving to a Smaller Home. We are so used to “big” in America. With a European husband and raised in Africa, I may have a different view. This is how I see it, that when you choose a simpler lifestyle and consciously create an aesthetic transformation in your new-small-home, life actually gets easier. Perhaps the biggest benefit you are going to find is time. The less “stuff” you have the more time you seem to have. For life is not about what you wear, the stuff you own or the house you live in. It is about relationships. It may even be easier to create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere for your friends and family, leaving a troubled world outside, when the space is small and affordable. Mirror with lamps Mirrors are good, especially if placed alone on a short wall. (Note: You can select your mirror online with Picture Lady and we will bring it to the show) Here are some tips to help you decorate to do this. The first thing you absolutely MUST do is remove all the clutter
Furniture with a glass top, or a filigree, makes a room look more spacious. Rather than several different colors choose several shades of the same color. The small room will appear less fragmented Bright colors advance, and cooler colors recede. You want to choose cool colors like sage green or a soft teal or lavender for a small room. Much can be done to create the idea of a bigger room with a careful selection of pictures. Scenery that fades into the distance makes a room look twice the size.

Cafe at LakeChoose furniture that has built in storage, like nesting tables, or a bed with drawers or an ottoman. Choose only one or two medium sized pictures. A lot of small pictures make the room look busy. Sorry, that family photo-wall and that glass cabinet may have to go. There is a solution: Choose only two or three precious photos and turn these into a collage with PHOTO TO ARTWORK. (Remember the photo-work is free) Last but not least, every room deserves a little “bling”! Find one outstanding or unique item that makes everything around it look expensive. It doesn’t actually have to cost you much. In my sister’s front room her focal point is an antique lamp that she got for free at a flea market! May you have lots of fun decorating for downsizing! Collage

Ruane Manning: Most Popular Wildlife Artist (August 2013)

Some Quirky Facts about Wild Animals

Long and narrow 12x36

Wild animal textured pictures.

Ruane is known for his delightful pictures of wild animals, like lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants. Each picture has an emotional quality and one feels the artist’s reverence for our small planet and the wild creatures that share it with us. His images come to life through expert use of light and shade, outstanding composition, and his intimate knowledge of the animals he paints so well. Ruane published his first wildlife print as far back as 1968.

He studied Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and won some art awards there especially from the Philadelphia Art Alliance. He is internationally famous for his sculptures, some of which are in the art collection of  Presidents Reagan, Carter and Ford.

He lives on a farm in Southern New Jersey with his family and many animal friends.

Here are some fun facts about the animals that he paints.

 elephant with baby

  • Elephants are the largest animals on the planet and the females have the longest pregnancy – a full 22 months.
  • Elephants hate peanuts and don’t eat them in the wild, are not fed them in the zoo so don’t think you are giving them a treat if you offer them peanuts.
  • Like small human toddler, magpies, and dolphins an elephant will recognize himself in a mirror.
  • Elephants are very social animals. They form close, lifelong relationships with their families. They support each other, helping family members if injured or sick. They comfort each other just as we would.

Mommy giraffe kissing baby

  • A Giraffe’s tongue is almost 2 feet long.
  •  A male giraffe can weigh as much as a pick up truck! That’s about 1400 kilograms.
  • Although a giraffe’s neck is 1.5 – 1.8 metres, it contains the same number of vertebrae at a human neck.
  • Drinking is one of the most dangerous times for a giraffe. While it is getting a drink it cannot keep a look-out for predators and is vulnerable to attack. Furthermore his neck is shorter than his legs.  Poor beautiful, long-neck giraffe, it has to splay his legs in order to reach the water. Then it really can’t see any attack in the making.

Lion with lamb son of god

  • The roar of a lion can be heard from 5 miles away, it is so loud! On the other hand a tiger’s roar can only be heard from only a mile away. All the same both animals have mighty roars.
  • People are very impressed by lions. Lions have been chosen as the national animal of Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and even Singapore.
  • Why we admire them I know not for lions are lazy animals, they sleep 20 out of 24 hours a day.
  • They also put their women out to work; Lionesses are better hunters than males and do most of the hunting for the pride.

white tiger in snow

  • Tigers have eyes that are brighter than any other animal found anywhere in the world. Their eyes blaze out at dusk or at night in the light of a torch, with a burning intensity.
  •  A tiger can eat 100 lbs of meat at one night sitting, like that is about 400 hamburgers!  They eat so much because they go many days between meals.
  • Tigers are man eaters, and to be avoided if out alone in the wilds. Yet they also eat frogs, monkeys, porcupines and tortoises, (ugh) when a good man or deer is not easy to get.
  • Tigers are magnificent creatures and unfortunately the specie is sadly endangered. If we learn a little more about them, we can maybe help them grow to grow back in numbers once again. By survey pictures of tigers at Picture Lady, are more popular than pictures of any other wild animal.

  Quote of the Week

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see that you are afraid of them . . . they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.  

Orison Swett Mardin

 

 

 

Let the Holiday Festivities Begin!

Holiday Decorating Tips

(Why do we write these blogs?)

christmas tree and snow flakesChristmas Decorating Tips for you.

For working women it seems there is not enough time in a day to decorate for the season, take care of the boss and still go out and have some fun!

We need, we want, we demand a quick, quick, and easy solution!

  • Fill large tubular vases or long wine glasses with red cranberries to add a beautiful splash of Christmas red to your dining area. Add Poinsettias to virtual vase as an option. (after you have added water).
  • Take some small household, clear glass bottles or old glass vases. Throw some holiday-colored drops of paint inside, shake it up and the paint will splatter inside to look like a modern piece of art. Decorate with a fancy ribbon and voilà, you have some unique holiday decorating!
  • Pick a short craggy branch from a tree. Spray paint it silver. You can stand it in a glass vase or hang it from the ceiling above your dining table and drop tinsel balls from it.
  • For a daughter or granddaughter put a Poinsettia on the mantel and arrange some Holiday dolls bought at a Picture Lady Holiday Boutique around the Christmas flowers. It adds a festive touch and can be set up in less than half an hour.
  • All you need now to set the Christmas mood is Fragrance Candle Lamps from Picture Lady. We recommend Apple Cinnamon Aroma Oil. It fills the house with Christmas cheer and sets the mood for the holidays!  Oh so quick & easy!
  • We suggest you get your Christmas Pictures and stocking stuffers from the Picture Lady Five Dollar Fun Table.
  • Take two or three little Christmas pictures (depending on the size of the wall) and hang them on the wall. String yarn from picture to picture and add your Christmas Cards in a loop from one picture to the next.

To tie the holiday decorating all together it is a good idea to select a theme. Here are some popular themes:

  • Angels (Great selection at a Picture lady Boutique)
  • Rustic – don’t omit the candles or the gold painted pine cones and the scent of pine
  • Modern and/or abstract – add colorful shapes on solid poster board. Instead of florals suggest you put colored tissue in your vases.

ackaging pictures

Christmas Decorating One thing you absolutely DO NOT WANT TO DO. Don’t wrap your pictures in Christmas paper unless you want your house to look like a fast food restaurant!

 Quote for the Week

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

 Hamilton Wright Maple

Fourth of July

Caught flat footed?  Been working too hard? Not yet ready?

Go out early and buy some blueberries and raspberries and whipped cream. Take some squat glasses and put a layer of blueberries then whipped cream, then raspberries then whipped cream and so on up. If your kids have a sweet tooth, sweeten the cream with Stevia to stop that sugar frenzy that will spoil your day.  Your family will love the decorative dessert!

Independence Day

Independence Day

Now hotfoot down to “Dollar Tree” and buy some flags and red white a blue artificial flowers. You can make the house look festive in less than an half an hour!

While there buy some red white and blue tissue paper and a bunch of red white and blue “whatever”!. Put the trivia objects in a basket or a bin and leave it in the center of the table.  Tell your kids this is a “hat contest”.  Tell them they can use anything in the bin or anything else they can rustle up to make themselves a 4th July hat.  Give them until noon to get their creation finished. That’ll give you time to do the cooking.

Then settle back to enjoy the fabulous lunch or barbecue!  Hey, you are a creative homemaker and it’s your day too!

Did you know?

The bald eagle our national mascot can achieve a speed of nearly 200 miles per hour  when diving for a catch. Normally it flies about 30 miles per hour.

It is rumored that during the cold war in the ball on top of our flagpoles, there could be found a razor blade, a lighter and a bullet.  This was so that Americans could destroy the flag if the Russians invaded.

That Calvin Coolidge was born on the Fourth of July.  That Thomas Jefferson died on the Fourth of July.

That there are 31 places in our nation with Liberty in the name.  Iowa has more than any other state with Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

Some good Fourth of July Quotes

Better to starve free than be a fat slave – Aesop

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. – George Bernard Shaw

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every Fourth of July. They celebrate not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a parade of strength and muscle; but with family picnics where the kids throw Frisbees. They are having fun where the potato salad gets iffy and the flies all die of happiness!

You may think you have overeaten but it is all about patriotism – Erma Bombeck

 

 

Decorating Ideas for a Pretty Stairwell

Stairwells are usually ignored or overly decorated.

The stairwell, a place you and your family pass several times in a day – is the perfect place for those precious smaller pictures, the ones you love but have nowhere else to go and here is a space where you can put them all together. There is an art to creating an effective montage. (A montage is a pictorial composition made by juxtaposing (or superimposing) many pictures in one place in order to create a new cohesive, total creation from the many). The important thing is not to think of your stairwell in parts – stand back and get a comprehensive view of the overall space.

The walls under and above your stairs provide a large amount of decorating play-space.  This part of the house leads up and into the more private parts of your house, and is the perfect place to hang family portraits, those private pictures you want to hang but not to put “in the face” of mere acquaintances who may pop in to visit.

Here is how it can be done right!

The Perfect Stairwell  It could be a Photo-to-Artwork Montage 
  •  The gray green walls recede giving the small space a bigger look.
  • There are family portraits, scenery and artifacts.
  • The white frames match the railings of the staircase, each enhancing the other.
  • The color of the wall is slightly different from both the upper and lower stories but it blends with both.

A very good idea is to mix family pictures with scenery, possibly places the family has been together. Contrasting black and white scenery with colored family pictures can produce a stunning effect especially if showcased against a pastel wall.

You have many topics to choose from on the Picture Lady web site to help you create a cohesive whole.  Spend a little time with virtual decorating before you decide what you want to do.

Have the goal is to provide the depth (perspective) in your nook, that makes the space look bigger and draws your family members in, and involves them.

Practical Details 

While you can do an eclectic mix of frames in your living quarters, it is wise to keep the frames and possibly even the mats the same on your stairwell wall.

Before hanging pictures, consider the lighting. If the stairs are dark, add overhead spotlights.

Storage opportunities

Downsizing Solutions

One last thought as many are thinking of downsizing right now; the area under your stairwell is the ideal place to find a little bit of extra storage. Planned well,  the area can become functional space as well as one of the most aesthetic corners in your home.

It is suggested that when planning your montage, that lay all the pictures on a large table or carpet, and shift them around until you get the effect that is pleasing.  Replicate the picture sizes in newspaper and stick these up on the wall before plugging in your picture hooks.

Quote for the Week

Serious is a word that must be entirely avoided when it comes to decoration.”  —Designer Kathryn M. Ireland

Why do we write this blog?

This blog is dedicated to helping you to get your life together and to bring your home and your family a better quality of life.

We want you to be able to re-create your comfort zone. 

How is it done?

Firstly filter out the noise. Yes you can turn off the TV even if only one night a week. Go more to the Internet and seek out sites that are positive and have no hidden agenda.
Then, too, you can learn to become a Creative Homemaker on a very gentle  gradient.

What are the qualities of the Creative Homemaker?

  • The Ability to lighten the load for all and to create a little bit of magic.
  • The Ability to listen to your friends and family and make each one special
  • The Ability to beautify your home, making it a place of joy for others. .
  • The Ability to laugh at yourself and let your family  laugh along with you.
  • The Ability to turn your Home into a Sanctuary – to close the door and leave a troubled world outside.

Creative Home Makers are blessed with unique qualities; they are compassionate, but only sometimes competent and organized. They may not be great cooks, but they know how to get along with the in-laws. Unlike Lady Gaga the Creative Homemaker may or may not be a knock-out but like Lady Gaga they also don’t mind cleaning toilets!

The creative homemaker is good at forgiving and most of all she knows how to forgive herself.

We write because if we can make you smile, that is a very good thing nowadays.  In addition if we can also give you some useful information you can use to improve the quality of your family-life that is better still. You can access these posts directly or via links in our monthly newsletter.

We closed out the comments section as we were getting too much foreign spam.  Know however, that you can always communicate with us by using the email contact feature of http://www.picturelady.com/signup.htm .  We are very interested in your views and love to hear from you.

Wishing you the joys of spring and summer and all good things!

Quote for the Week

When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping.
Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.

— Elaine Boosler